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G77 Expresses “Deep Concern” over ODA and FDI Declines in Africa

UNITED NATIONS , Nov 9 2016 - The Group of 77 has expressed “deep concern” that both Official Development Assistance (ODA) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), which remain two of the major sources of development financing for Africa, have continued to decline over the years.

Speaking on behalf of the G77, joined by China, Ambassador Virachai Plasai, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Thailand to the United Nations, said that in time of unfavourable global economic conditions and increasing environmental challenges, African countries are among the most severely affected.

“Unless they have access to adequate and predictable resources for development, their attempts to implement SDGs, particularly to address the issues of poverty and hunger, will continue to be undermined,” he warned.

In this regard, he argued, there is a need for a revitalised global partnership for Africa in order to mobilise the means and resources to support the implementation of SDGs in the region, including but not limited to financing, trade, debt relief and transfer of environmentally sound technologies.

Addressing the General Assembly debate on the “New Partnership on Africa’s Development (NRPSD) on October 14, he said the Group would like to reiterate that the fulfilment of all ODA commitments remains crucial, including the commitment by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of ODA/GNI to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries.

“We urge those who have not fulfilled their commitments to step up efforts towards the ODA targets.”

So far, only five countries have met their ODA/GNI targets: Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden and UK.

The G77 chair also said the Group of 77 and China would like to commend African leaders for their remarkable efforts and durable commitment in the pursuit of Africa’s regional development.

“The African Union’s Agenda 2063” and its first ten-year implementation plan demonstrate the region’s shared visions and actions towards peace and development.”

The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015 has further underscored the shared commitment of the international community to working tirelessly to eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, and to achieving sustainable development in its three dimensions – economic, social and environmental – in a balanced and integrated manner.

While African countries continue to implement their NEPAD priorities within the context of Agenda 2063, he said, the Group recognise complementarities between Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“In this regard, it is crucial that we continue to mobilise international support for the implementation of those Agendas, in order to achieve greater synergies between the regional and international development frameworks.”

He also warned that in a time of unfavourable global economic conditions and increasing environmental challenges, African countries are among the most severely affected.

Unless they have access to adequate and predictable resources for development, their attempts to implement SDGs, particularly to address the issues of poverty and hunger, will continue to be undermined.

In this regard, there is a need for a revitalised global partnership for Africa in order to mobilise the means and resources to support the implementation of SDGs in the region, including but not limited to financing, trade, debt relief and transfer of environmentally sound technologies.

He said it is highly commendable that Africa’s public debt-to-GDP is lower today than it has been in decades. The Group believe that Africa’s global development partners could provide the necessary assistance to African countries in attaining long-term debt sustainability.

The Group would like to reiterate that North-South Cooperation still lies at the core of the global partnership that drives Africa’s development, while being complemented by South-South Cooperation and triangular cooperation.

The Group of 77 and China are concerned by Africa’s disproportionately low share in the volume of international trade, which stands at approximately 3.3 per cent.

“We reiterate the need for all countries and relevant multilateral institutions to continue efforts to enhance coherence in their trade policies towards African countries and to enhance the efforts to fully integrate African countries into the international trading system. It is also necessary to build their capacity to compete through such initiatives as aid for trade and the provision of assistance to address the adjustment challenges of trade and liberalization,” the ambassador declared.

However, he warned, that Africa’s experience with industrialisation has been low, and hence the numerous challenges in implementing the structural changes needed to revive the economy.

Despite the fact that the General Assembly adopted the First and Second Industrial Development Decade for Africa for the year 1980-1989 and 1991-2000 respectively, in support of Africa’s efforts to overcome the challenges of industrialisation, limited progress was made due to the lack of resources, capacities and geostrategic reasons.

Therefore, the Group strongly supports the recent adoption of the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa for the year 2016-2025 by the General Assembly which could address the ways and means to ensure inclusive and sustainable industrialisation as engine for growth, and provide another strategic leverage to support the efforts of African countries.

The Group welcomes the G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and G20 Initiative on Supporting Industrialization in Africa and Least Developed Countries (LDCs), launched at the eleventh G20 Summit, held in Hangzhou, China on 4 and 5 September 2016, and look forward to their implementations.

The Group of 77 and China also welcome the African Union (AU)’s decision to proclaim 2016 “the African Year of Human Rights with Particular Focus on the Rights of Women.”

“This emphasises the recognition that AU has for women and girls, as well as human development in general, as key pillars and drivers for the implementation of its Agenda 2063, and is in line with SDG 5 which underlines the indispensable role of women in the path towards sustainable development. “

The Group of 77 and China also welcome the role of the international community for the progress on malaria control and prevention.

According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) World Malaria Report of 2015, malaria incidence rates fell by 42 percent in Africa between 2000-2015. However, most global cases of malaria remain in Africa.

“We welcome WHO’s Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030 as a framework for continued global efforts against the disease. We believe that increased international support for the implementation of this framework will enable Africa to meet its malaria elimination targets.”

“We also would like to reiterate the need for the UN system to assist in upgrading health systems and ensuring equitable access to health services, as the health and well-being of population lie at the heart of inclusive and sustainable development,” the ambassador declared.

 
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